“Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.” – Jill Konrath
There are many reasons to run a blog. When you start, it might be a way to share your passion for a particular hobby with an audience. You may have specialized knowledge or skills that you plan to turn into a business. Whatever your reasons and goals, knowing how to use a blog sales funnel can help you make your blog profitable.
Within the blog sales funnel, there are five stages: awareness, interest, decision, action and retention. Whether you’re trying to sell an online course or a product, this business advice for building a sales funnel can help you succeed.
In a nutshell, your target audience can’t purchase your products if they don’t know you exist. This fact is especially true for small business owners trying to stand out from the millions of other websites online. Traditional small business marketing efforts strove to help a business stand out against the local competition. Conversely, the internet is the Wild West of marketing; you have to stand out against the global competition.
Using digital marketing strategies, like SEO and social media, you can catch your prospect’s eye. First, put together a content strategy that speaks to your target audience. You’ll want to share information that provides value to your niche market. To do so, you can use these advanced google search tips to define who your customer is, what problems they face, and your unique selling proposition. Your USP tells customers how you can solve their problems better than the competition, whether it’s figuring out what to eat for lunch or launching a business of their own.
Once you’ve nailed down the details, create robust and SEO-savvy content with eye-catching graphics shared across the various social media channels.
Once someone clicks through your content links to take a look at what you have to offer, you’ve reached the interest stage of the funnel. While your prospects are perusing, you need to find a way to capture their information.
Email marketing is a powerful way to build interest and engagement with your audience. In addition to SEO and social, email marketing is one of the main focal points of a digital marketing agency.
To encourage your audience to share their email, you’ll need a lead magnet or opt-in. Your opt-in could be anything from a checklist to an ebook to a coaching call. In other words, something that gives your prospects a taste of the value you can offer them in return for a continued audience via their email.
The third stage of the blog sales funnel is the decision-making process. Once you’ve captured your prospect’s email address, it’s up to you to continue to build a rapport and trust. The best business advice for small business owners and bloggers is to automate as much of this process as possible.
By having regular deliveries to your prospect’s inbox, you’ll keep the interest fresh. Rather than trying to sell, sell, sell, the majority of your communications should be passive. Depending on your brand strategy, you might send out three emails with an update, a resource you discovered, a recipe you posted on your blog, etc. Within these, you can finish by saying, “by the way, we have this product for sale.”
Then at certain periods throughout the year or when a new product launches, the email frequency, and marketing techniques could increase. Using marketing strategies like time limitations, discounts, and scarcity can drive your engaged prospect into making a decision.
Action is the step that comes after the moment that your prospect becomes a customer. It’s the physical representation of making a decision by clicking the “buy now” button. In other words, “action” is money in the bank.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the work ends here. In fact, any digital marketing agency worth their salt knows that this is where the real work begins. Now that you’ve convinced a prospect to become a customer, you have to prove to them that they made the right choice. Showing that your offering has value and that you appreciate the customer parting with their hard-earned money increases the likelihood that they’ll buy from you again. This leads us to the final stage of the sales funnel: retention.
Keeping your customers is the most important thing you can do as a small business. For one, customers who have already made a purchase and know the value of your product are easier to sell to subsequently. After the initial investment, the road from interest to action becomes shorter.
Furthermore, customer retention costs less than new customer acquisition. A retained customer may not be willing to partake in every product or service launch. However, when they find something else they know will help them, they’re more likely to jump on the offer.
Finally, retained customers are more likely to take part in word-of-mouth marketing for your business. Even in the digital world, nothing has more of an impact than people you know telling you about a great product or service. New prospects that learn about your business through word-of-mouth marketing enter the sales funnel with higher levels of trust and awareness than those who find you via advertising or luck.
No matter where your audience falls in your sales funnel, they should feel like you have their best interests at heart. Making sales shouldn’t be your primary focus, but rather a beneficial byproduct of your efforts. Instead, focus on providing a high-quality offering that your target audience will love. Approach communications with your prospects with a customer-centric mindset. By doing so, you’ll create a long-term relationship that becomes profitable without predatory selling techniques or buyer’s remorse.
Consider the brands that earn your business. What do they offer? How do they stand out? How do they make you feel? Apply these traits to your own business and emulate the strategies that work. This is the key to successfully incorporating the five stages of a blog sales funnel into your business.
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